The drainage network of the Athenian Agora
Artz, James Elliot Claus
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This work presents a synthetic analysis of the Athenian Agora's drainage network, based on the collection of associated objects found during its excavation. Some components of the drainage network have been published piecemeal following their excavation, but investigation of the Athenian system as a whole has never been undertaken. The drainage network is comprised of a series of small pipes and channels that were connected to larger conduits running beneath the city's streets. The larger conduits emptied into the Eridanos River, which carried the city's wastewater out to sea. Systematic control of rainwater runoff and overflow from aqueducts began in the 6 th century B.C., and the integrated drainage network in the Agora silted up around the 6 th century A.D. A typology of the terracotta, stone, and lead components of the city's hydraulic infrastructure is presented in the catalog accompanying this work. In addition to presenting an analysis of the city's drainage network, the catalog and typology may prove helpful for excavators conducting fieldwork in the Agora, around within the city, and perhaps elsewhere in Greece. While a comprehensive reconstruction is hindered by the fragmentary state of its remains, the development of and changes to the ancient city's drainage network can be understood through an examination of its material remains and the strata in which they were found.